TWEED FLYING HIGH: Better fares boost US Airways boardings in New Haven
(11/15/2010) (From New Haven Register)
By Mark Zaretsky, Register Staff
NEW HAVEN — Somehow in the midst of this lousy economy, commercial traffic in and out of Tweed New Haven Regional Airport on its one airline, US Airways Express, has risen to its highest level in years.
Maybe the economy really is getting better.
But Tweed officials think a big reason is something even more basic: US Airways’ decision in June to tweak fares at Tweed and bring them more in line with Bradley International, Westchester County and other New York airports.
That came after years of Tweed being considerably more costly than its larger, busier neighbors.
When those changes went into effect in late June, monthly boardings to and from Tweed immediately jumped from about 2,500, where they had hovered for the first half of the year, to nearly 3,500. Since then, they have stayed between 3,500 and 4,000 — a level Tweed hadn’t seen in the second half of any year since 2005.
Tweed officials now predict that if things go as expected over the holidays, Tweed will finish 2010 with about 36,000 boardings for its US Airways flights between here and Philadelphia, up from 32,984 last year and 33,897 in 2008, said Elliot Jameson, who does planning and engineering for the airport.
Before that, Tweed finished with 40,175 boardings in 2005, 38,243 in 2006 and and 37,078 in 2007.
Even more dramatically, US Airways’ planes this month are expected to be 83 percent full — and that’s even with the introduction on some recent days of 50-seat airplanes on a route that for the most part has been served with 37-seat planes in recent history, Jameson told the Tweed New Haven Airport Authority at a recent meeting.
What it means is that traffic at Tweed “is price sensitive,” said Bruce Alexander, vice president of New Haven and state affairs at Yale University and a member of the Airport Authority.
“What happened was, in the last week in June, US Airways chose to get serious” about selective price adjustments, Alexander said.
See rest of story at Tweed Flying High.
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